Collectively Embracing Productive Struggle

September 24th, 2016


Is anyone else amazed at how differently two people can see the same situation?  What’s even more amazing is how both can be correct!  Unfortunately, we often get stuck in the middle trying to prove that we are “right” and they are “wrong.”  This is both paralyzing and polarizing – and definitely not productive!

An obvious example of this is occurring in our country right now.  Do black lives matter or do blue lives matter?  The obvious answer is they both do—all lives matter!  That isn’t devaluing the concerns of any one group, it is valuing the concerns of everyone, and hopefully drawing us back to the importance of empathy, and cooperation – through personal responsibility.

Zig Ziglar once said, “Life is like an echo, what you send out comes back.”  I believe this is an accurate statement about human nature, but not about the capacity of humans.  We do have the freedom to choose.  We can choose to consider the opinions and perspectives of others.  We can choose to respectfully share ours, and we can choose to learn and grow together.

In most circumstances, I believe parents, educators, and outside agencies work together in a positive productive manner while trying to meet student needs.  On rare occasions, perspectives differ and the right steps aren’t as clear as we would like.  When this occurs, I pray that we can all presume the positive, move past the idea of right and wrong, and embrace the “productive struggle” that leads to new and better perspectives – and ultimately great things for our children.